There is nothing like a day on the lake playing with your friends and family.
Nothing means more fun for the kids than a floating water trampoline.
Invented in 1934 by George Nissen, the modern trampoline became a floating bastion of fun in the late 1990’s thanks to the pioneering minds at Rave Sports. Since then the technology has advanced in leaps and bounds (if you’ll excuse the pun.)
There is one very important distinction when you are looking for the best water trampoline: do you want an actual trampoline with springs like you would normally see on land, or do you want a water bouncer with an integrated nylon webbing connecting the jump surface to the floats?
While true trampolines provide great bounce, they are heavy, harder to set up and expensive.
Water bouncers don’t provide the same jumping experience but are less expensive and much easier to set up and maintain.
Fortunately, we are here to help you make that decision with the best water trampoline reviews!
Our Favorite Picks
#1 Best Overall Water Trampoline: RAVE Sports Bongo Water Bounce
#2 Island Hopper 10’ Bounce n’ Splash
#3 Island Hopper 17’ Bounce n’ Splash
The Top 7
#1 Best Overall: RAVE Sports Bongo Water Bounce (10-20 ft)
Our top pick is the Rave Sports Bongo Water bouncer because it gives the most bang for your buck based on size and performance.
Raves Sports originated this water toy category, and they have done nothing but improve since then.
The Rave water trampolines are great, but we think this water bouncer will be the most best choice due to superior bounce (for a bouncer) ease of set up, and overall quality.
Also, Rave offers a good range of add on accessories to enhance the play possibilities!
The bounce surface is attached directly to the float with a nylon rope instead of a bungee cord, which means a more taught bounce surface and a more durable attachment.
The ladder options are both nylon transitioning into metal, so they are both durable and stable to get up on to the bouncer from the water.
For set up, the thirteen-foot size weighs only 50 pounds, making it easy to haul to the lake and get set up before launching on the water while still providing plenty of space for four kids to enjoy themselves.
It also has a single inflation valve that a single person to operate without help. After inflation, the next most crucial point is anchoring.
Rave recommends a 35-pound to 40-pound weight for the anchor, which isn’t included, but they do include a convenient anchor connector rope. Rave also offers helpful tips and tricks for anchoring right on the amazon page.
Finally, the Rave is made of the highest quality PVC, which is both durable and lightweight. Rave is also a very reputable company that backs up their products.
You should be able to get this assembled and into the water in as little as 20 to 40 minutes, so get out there and get bouncing!
#2 Island Hopper 10’ Bounce n’ Splash (10 ft)
This is the smallest and least expensive bouncer on our list.
It fits better in smaller lakes or ponds and is easier to get to and from the water at the start and finish of your bouncing season.
The assembly is a snap, and we really love the convenient built in handles right above the ladder that help get you out of the water.
We also love that the island hopper has a foam pad over the bounce surface attachment.
This isn’t always the case on water bouncers even though it is pretty standard on water trampolines.
The nylon webbing attachment design gives some decent bounce, but again this is a bouncer, not a trampoline, so don’t expect to go flying in the air.
The ladder is well designed and the hand holds are useful as well.
If you are on a budget but still want to bounce, this is the choice for you!
#3 Island Hopper 17’ Bounce n’ Splash (17 ft)
If you just need that extra space, this 17-foot Bounce is splash lands right on the balance between size and price.
It is more expensive than other bouncers on this list, but that is because it is bigger.
It has the same materials and construction as the 10ft version above, so it is a nicely put together package, but you get more jump surface for your buck.
Some people just need more space!
#4 Island Hopper Classic Trampoline (15 ft)
If you crave the bounce, this classic true trampoline was one of the originals in the category.
It provides excellent bounce with a good, sturdy frame.
The frame is built of galvanized steel, and 8.5” cross tapered steel springs should hold up for years of bouncing fun.
This model is a great entry point into the true trampoline models.
It is bigger and heavier than bouncers, but it is about half the price of other trampoline models and 15 feet is a great size for getting more friends on the water.
#5 Island Hopper Giant 25’ Water Trampoline (25 ft)
This is the Texas of water trampolines. Everything is bigger! This bad boy will require some serious investment in both time and money to get started.
It will take at least three people and more likely four to five to get it set up and into the water in any reasonable amount of time, but once it is in the water, watch out because it is the Cadillac of water trampolines.
The frame and spring construction is the same as the 17 foot model, so you’ll get plenty of high bounces from the jump surface.
It has plenty of well-placed handles and swim assist grab ons to get you out of the water.
It also sits high on the water, 42” tall, for maximum height on your fancy aerial maneuvers.
At more than double the jumping surface of all our other recommendations it is a party on the water for all your friends.
Make sure everyone jumps safely!
The material used for the tube is also a thicker, higher denier material to handle the added weight, so it is just as durable as the smaller versions.
If you have the time, space, and money, this is a great choice to accommodate all your high-flying needs.
This package is more expensive than the Bongo Bouncer, but that is because it comes with slide, log, and swim platform all in one convenient package.
There is some compromise on the size of the actual bouncer, as it is only twelve feet, but the addition of the extra accessories more than offsets that, especially at this price point.
Rave designed this as a more economical option targeted at younger kids and tweens so they could get in on the fun too.
Although there is no ladder, the swim platform makes it easy to get out of the water an onto the trampoline.
This is a great option as an entry level water park with lots of ways to have fun!
#7 RAVE Sports Aqua Jump Eclipse 15' Water Park (15 ft)
Just like the Splash zone above, this water trampoline comes with some accessories, but the difference here is this is a true trampoline for really big air.
There is an included water launcher, as well as a balance log.
There is no swim platform, but there is a good ladder.
We especially like the water launcher, which when combined with the great bounce off the trampoline can really send your friends flying.
The price is definitely on the higher side, but with the included accessories we think its worth it.
Water Trampolines Costco
Depending on your location, you can also find water trampolines and bouncers at Costco, which can mean a great deal if you catch the right sale.
We’ve seen Rave and Island Hopper in store during the spring/summer season, so it is at least worth a look if you don’t want to wait for shipping or if you’d rather see the real deal in person before purchasing.
Water Trampolines Vs. Bouncers
This is, of course, the first question to ask when you start looking for your water entertainment. If the only thing you care about is big air and power bouncing your brother into the water while you laugh out loud, then a water trampoline is probably for you.
Nothing says good times like sending your sibling to an unexpected soaking. However, a water trampoline makes some compromises to achieve that epic bounce. The first drawback is metal parts. All the springs and a metal frame to attach them to increase the weight considerably.
Springs are also metal, so they require regular inspection for rust and replacement if necessary, along with keeping an eye on the frame.
Here is a good explanation of why to keep an eye on the springs and general tips for springs on land the apply doubly to springs on water. Island Hopper offers a 5-year limited warranty on the frame, which means the frame should last, but it and the springs won’t last forever and are more expensive to replace.
Another piece of the metal parts drawback is the assembly. It just takes longer and is harder to get launched with all that extra weight.
Finally, the last consideration of a true water trampoline is cost, as they usually run between 2 and 4 times as expensive for a comparably sized water bouncer. All that being said, the bounce is sweet, so it is definitely worth considering.
Water Bouncers, on the other hand, were developed later and designed to mitigate the weight and cost issues of the water trampolines.
However, with all engineering, they had to compromise bounce to achieve these goals. The potential energy stored in a spring is way more than in a bungee cord or nylon rope, so you just can’t get as high.
We generally recommend the bouncers because kids don’t have to bounce that high for fun, and the bouncers are lower maintenance, lower cost, and easier to assemble and get on the water fast.
What to Consider When Buying
Almost all of the floats we considered are made of high-grade PVC. Heavier weight PVC and higher denier are generally better, as it will be more resistant to tearing, punctures, or blowouts. Also, nearly all the tubes and jump surfaces are UV fade resistant, but it’s worth checking before you buy to make sure you can keep your bright, vibrant colors.
Finally, if you are buying a trampoline you should also check to make sure that the metal parts are stainless steel so that they will resist rusting as much as possible.
The size of your water toy really depends on four things: how much you have to spend, how many adults or kids you want to have on at one time, ease of transport to the water, and how much space you have on the water. Besides bouncer versus trampoline, the next most important variable in cost is size. Of course, bigger bouncers cost more. A 13-foot bouncer can fit a couple of adults or two kids easily enough. Any smaller and obviously fewer jumping enthusiasts can use the toy at any one time. A slightly lesser consideration is transportation to and from the water. Smaller is definitely easier here. Finally, you need to make sure you have enough depth of water all around the bouncer as well as enough clear space around it for safe jumping.
Ease Of Assembly
Hand down, water bouncers are easier to assemble. Most water bouncers take 20 to 40 minutes to assemble, including inflation. With the frame and springs, a water trampoline can easily take at least 2 to 3 times that long. Water trampolines will also be heavier, making it harder to get them down to the water. However, remember these are probably once a summer considerations, because once it is in the water you can anchor it and leave there all summer long!
One of the great things about evolution of the water trampoline is all of the options available to add on and make your own little water park. You can add a slide, a couple of sizes of waterlogs, various size water mats, walk the plank, and slide walks. All of these are pretty self-explanatory, but our favorite is the launch. It looks like a big pillow, but you can catch some serious air with your friends!
Unfortunately, most of us don’t have unlimited funds for water toys. That means definitely stay within your means. It is worth reiterating that although the bounce is better, water trampolines are an order of magnitude more expensive than water bouncers of comparable size.
Are Water Trampolines Safe?
As with all trampolines and water toys alike, when used properly water trampolines and bouncers are safe.
When bouncing on water, you should always make sure that the water is at least six feet deep all around the trampoline, and make sure that the trampoline is far enough away from any other obstacles (like docks, sea walls, and the shore) so that you won’t bounce in to them accidentally.
For non-swimmers, or if you have any doubts at all, a life jacket is always recommended. We recommend that you not use water trampolines in swimming pools, as you would require a very large pool to satisfy the area and depth needs.
How Do I Assemble My Water Trampoline?
Every bouncer and trampoline are a little different, so definitely check with the manufacturers recommendations and instructions for assembling your water bouncer or trampoline.
Generally, there are two steps involved, assembling and attaching the bounce surface and then inflating the float. For a true trampoline the bounce surface means assembling all the metal parts and the springs. This can be time consuming. For a bouncer, it means attaching the bounce surface directly to the tube with either a nylon rope or bungee cord. A bouncer should only take about 40 minutes to assemble.
One key thing to keep an eye on is the air pressure recommended for inflation of the tube/float. All bouncers and trampolines will require the float to be inflated and being either over or under inflated can ruin the fun. Too little inflation means the float will be soft and the bouncer will be mushy in the water. Too much inflation and you can blow out your seams. The ideal inflation should feel firm when you push on it with very little give, but it should not be super rigid. Here is a good link describing the best way to inflate your water bouncer.
How will temperature affect my water toy?
We are glad you asked because now we can make our high school physics teachers so proud! We could go super deep in to the Ideal Gas Law, but we’ll spare you. It just says that the lower your temperature, the less air pressure you will have in your tube.
That means, if you inflate your float on a hot sunny day, you will require less air to hit the psi you want in your tube. So, when it gets cold at night (or when you throw the tube on a cold lake) the pressure will go down and your tube will feel mushy. Just a some more air to your tube and you should be good to go!
How Do I Repair My Water Trampoline?
This question is usually preceded by “my bouncer sprung a leak!” Most water trampolines and bouncer floats are made from high grade PVC.
If your bouncer springs a leak, you can fix it using PVC patches and repair kits. The original package when you purchase almost always comes with a repair kit that includes PVC patches and adhesives along with detailed instructions. Here is a good video by Rave showing how it’s done.
Can I Use A Water Trampoline on Land?
Yes, you can use your water trampoline our bouncer on land, but there are a couple of considerations; safety of the bouncers and safety of your floats.
First, make sure your little bouncers aren’t going to bounce off the side and hurt themselves when they fall on land versus the water. Most land-based trampolines have netting around them these days to keep kids on the trampoline, but water trampolines and bouncers do not. The second consideration is the float. It is air filled, and thus can always spring a leak. Therefore, only use your water trampoline on an even, grassy surface when on land.
Final Verdict - Which Should I Buy?
We love everything about the Rave Sports Bongo Water Bouncer.
It provides the best bounce for a bouncer, easy assembly, a great price, and plenty of size options. It is durable and backed by a great company that has used high grade materials on this water bouncer.
We love that you can set it up in as little as 20 minutes, and that you get a solidly constructed water toy from the company that originated the category.
The variety of highly entertaining accessories available separately also helps tip the scale for this choice.
The ladder is great, the handholds are great, and there is nothing not to like, which is why we recommend the Rave Sports Bongo Water Bouncer as the best water bouncer for you!
Our #1 Pick - RAVE Sports Bongo Water Bounce